Thursday, July 24, 2014

Heads of UK Overseas Territories Discussed Important Issues in CI

Last week, a meeting of leaders of UK overseas territories including Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat was held in the Cayman Islands. This pre-Joint Ministerial Council Meeting last for two days, during which the heads of government exchanged opinions on the issues of relationship between the UK and OTs, and also defined the priority areas to be included on the agenda of the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meeting which will take place in London in the end of 2014.

British Virgin Islands Premier Dr Orlando Smith commented, “I am pleased that leaders of the OTs were able to reach consensus on a number of areas that are relevant to all OTs and on which we should engage further dialogue with the UK in the fall of 2014.” He also noted that matters related to financial services will be of the top priority for the Overseas Territories’ engagement with the UK. 

Among the key issues discussed there were economic diversification, global standards for financial regulation accountability and transparency, governance, environment, and others. Financial services being one of the key industries for most of the Overseas Territories, including BVI and Cayman Islands, their leaders affirmed that they aim the global standards of financial regulation, accountability and transparency, and will continue to be responsible financial centres that facilitate global trade and investment.

The JMC meeting in December 2014, which is being hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and will bring together political leaders and representatives of the UK and OT leaders, will have the purpose to implement principles listed in the 2012 White Paper on Security, Success and Sustainability, and to agree at the ministerial level on collective issues between OT governments and UK.

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